More Songs from Piano Rock – New Wave 80’s Edition

Here are some of the most memorable ’80s New Wave piano songs and riffs:

New Year’s Day – U2 Old piano gets an unlikely boost from a guitar-dominated band with this U2 cut War album. U2 gives a simple riff of piano, bass and drums the power they give to their regular lineup of guitar, bass and drums. The Edge plays this riff on a Yamaha CP-80 which has a distinctive and unusual piano sound that you hear on other ’80s cuts by Peter Gabriel and Hall and Oates. The shorter bites of the CP-80 give a slightly more guitar-like tone, only bigger. U2 also used the piano to great effect on another single. The sweetest thing.

Up On the Catwalk & Alive and Kicking – Simple Minds Michael MacNeil of Simple Minds was also a CP-80 user and is the signature keyboard sound on Simple Minds’ most successful albums such as shine in the rain and the massive Once upon a time. These 2 cuts show the piano beginning with the main octave part that initiates the stadium rock of on the catwalk. Alive and kicking has a full breakdown featuring nothing but piano, unprecedented for a number one hit.

Like Heaven – The Cure This song only has piano during the solo section, but what a great and memorable part it is. The Cure were known for being an emotional band and the piano solo on this song just makes you want to take out your eyeliner and photos of your ex-girlfriend and sit and cry in front of the mirror until your mascara runs.

Rush – great audio dynamite This song is from the ’90s, but BAD was created out of The Clash, who were from the ’80s (and ’70s), so BAD comes in. The reason this song is included is because there is a full piano breakdown in the second verse. Pianos don’t have many of those.

Rock the Casbah While we’re on the subject of The Clash, I’d hate to forget about this huge hit for them. Listen closely how the piano is what drives the song most of the time and makes it rock, and the guitars add the flavor. It is usually the other way around.

Be close to me – ABC This ABC hit has a great piano riff driving the chorus, in fact it’s almost the whole chorus of the chorus, that’s how catchy it is.

Head Over Heels – Tears of Fear There’s an epic piano riff that opens this song that was used for a very weird dance number in the movie. donnie darko. Kinda similar, and just as catchy as the be close to me riff

No one is to blame – Howard Jones Another CP-80 user, Howard Jones, was a pioneer in doing a one-man show using only one keyboard setup. People told him he was crazy but he made it work surrounded by a mountain of keyboards and his venerable CP-80.

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